How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

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The ingredients list of a recipe is a precious thing. Each item has its purpose whether it’s for leavening, binding, texture, or flavour. Vanilla extract can (and will) be found in almost every recipe to awaken the flavour of your baking even if vanilla is not the main event featured in your dessert. She is always there.

And how often do we “settle” for artificial vanilla extract? I’ve definitely arrived at the grocery story and stared at a self where a large bottle of artificial vanilla extract ($3.99 CA) towered over a tiny bottle of pure vanilla extract ($12.99 CA) and thought, “Good enough.”

While vanilla bean pods aren’t that cheap either (I believe Bulk Barn carries them at $7.99 CA for two pods), making your own for that amount will definitely leave your pantry with more than 43 mL of vanilla extract. And all you need in addition to vanilla pods to make that happen is vodka.

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Bacon Jam is My Jam

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And now for something completely a little different.

When you think about jam, a medley of fruit usually comes to mind. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, apricot, and but not limited to pear (cinnamon pear is my favourite jam and I only seem to find it at hidden farmers’ markets.) It turns out anything can be “jammed” and bacon is no exception. The sweet element comes from the caramelizing of onions but the wow factor as to how it’s used is completely up to you.

(But seriously, if this doesn’t make its way into a grilled cheese sandwich, I don’t think I can help you.)

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